Accountability

Accountability is so important in our walks as Christians.  We must be held accountable first to God, then to each other and to ourselves.  Sometimes the truth is hard to hear and hard to say, but it’s still the truth and God encourages us to always live within the truth and the light.  Bring all things into the light so that they may be revealed and brought out of the darkness where sin dwells.  The Bible actually tells us that we have an obligation to hold each other accountable for our actions.  This is especially true when we see that  a fellow believer is acting in a way that does not reflect God’s will.

“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell”  Psalm 43:3

We all need others to hold us accountable.  We need fellow believers to encourage us and to correct us in love.  Without that accountability we will never grow and move forward in God’s plan for our lives. 

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”   Proverbs 12:15

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:16

“Whoever says to the guilty, ‘you are innocent’—peoples will curse him and nations denounce him. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come upon them.”  Proverbs 24:24-25

We also must be accountable to ourselves.  We need to be able to take a look at our own lives and what we do and say and make changes as needed.  We need to hold ourselves accountable for our actions, and not fall into blaming others.  God will hold all of us accountable for our own actions and there will be no room for blaming others.  Only we can account for what we have said and done in our lives.  To grow we must look at our lives and face the areas we need to work on, the sooner we do that the better our lives will be and the more God will bless our actions.  We cannot hide anything from God, He knows our hearts.

“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”  Romans 14:12

Advertisements

Lead Us Not Into Temptation..

Yesterday we continued our study of the Lord’s Prayer at church, with a focus on “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  Matthew 6:13.   Mac did a great job of teaching us why Jesus intentionally used the word “us” in this prayer.  The “us” is to show that we need each other to be guarded against temptation.  He also used it to show that we are never alone in our struggles with temptation and it is when we think we are that gets us in big trouble.

We need community and accountability to help us turn away from temptation along with strength from God.  We CANNOT do it alone.  If you think you can, you are wrong.  It requires faith, prayer, community, and accountability every single day.  We are all faced with temptations and choices on a daily basis.  When no one is around it’s the relationships we have and that community and accountability that keep us from making bad decisions.

It comforts me to read this verse:   “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13.   God does not tempt us, only the devil tempts us.  God does allow us to be tempted from time to time to test our faith in Him, but he will always provide a way out and we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear.  In other words you must trust that God provides all that you need to resist temptation, but it’s up to you to access all of it.

Mac used an analogy that stuck with me.  He said it’s like a fisherman who lures a fish, catches him and then puts him on his wall.   The devil does the same with us, he tempts us with the very things he knows we are weak in and then once he gets us, we go up on his wall as “another one” he caught.  Do not let him catch you.  Stand guard to temptation and rely on community, relationships with God and those you love, and being accountable to others.  These things will help you stay off the devil’s trophy wall!

Being Accountable in Marriage

Accountability is a very important aspect of being a follower of Christ.  The Bible calls us to be held accountable by those close to us and those we trust.  Those people that have our best interest at heart. It’s a very important task that we should only give to those who will, in fact, hold us accountable. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.”

We need those people in our lives, that will hold us up, and hold us accountable to the Word of God.  If we try to follow Christ on our own, we will surely fail.  We cannot grow or learn in a vacuum. 

My marriage is the most important relationship in my life, besides my relationship with God.  And I believe that my husband and I need to hold each other accountable.  Not only do we need people outside of our marriages to help us with this, but we should start with each other.

When my husband and I got married, I bought the Family Life Marriage Bible, authored by Barbara and Dennis Rainey.  It’s a great Bible with devotions specific to marriage and parenting.  I love it.  We try to reference it often.

One of the devotions talks about this very issue, accountability in marriage.  Here is an excerpt from this devotion on the areas of accountability that the authors feel we need to focus on:

  1.  Spiritual Health.  In order to remain on track, every marriage must involve daily communication with and dependence on God.  Most of us are prone to laziness or distraction in the daily maintenance of our spiritual needs.  A loving spouse who has permission to encourage us in our devotion to Christ can help by asking open-ended questions such as “What has God been teaching you lately?”
  2. Emotional and sexual fidelity. This is a potentially sensitive but critical area in any Christian marriage.  The way in which you handle the issues of temptation and moral struggles will largely chart the course for your relationship.  Neither you nor your spouse can risk opening the door to inappropriate intimacy with someone of the opposite sex, and/or coming in contact with any inappropriate materials or media.  Be open and honest about temptations that you are struggling with.
  3. Schedules. Always try to help each other make good decisions by monitoring each other’s workload and schedules.  Making good decisions means saying yes to some good things and no to others.  Schedules are ultimately a statement of our true priorities.
  4. Money and values. Sometimes nothing can create the need for accountability more than the checkbook!  We need to be accountable to each other on what we are spending our money on and what major money decisions we are making. 
  5. Parenting practice.  Interact and sharpen each other with your parenting styles.  We all tend to draw on the parenting techniques modeled for us by our parents.  When you notice a good, or bad tendency, encourage your spouse in love, and help them improve.
  6. No secrets.  Secrets are one of Satan’s primary tools to divide couples.  Accountability between husband and wife is a superb way to keep them from messing with your marriage.

One of the greatest challenges to any marriage is the access we give one another to our lives on a daily basis.  Accountability is an honest, practical submission of your life to your spouse that says, “I have no secrets that I will withhold from you.”